Counting One Too Many Sheep?
by Gail Wheeler
About 70 million adults suffer from sleep disorders. According to Cleveland Clinic there are approximately 80 different types of sleep disorders. Three of the top ones are:
Insomnia: This is the most common sleep problem, classified by short-term insomnia and chronic insomnia. Short term tends to be triggered by stress and is generally short lived. Chronic insomnia is identified when it occurs 3 times a week and lasts longer than 3 months.
Sleep Apnea: A condition that causes you to stop breathing while you’re sleeping. It can be due to a blockage in your airway (obstructive sleep apnea) or because your brain isn’t controlling your breathing correctly. The word “apnea” is Greek for breathless. Survival instincts wake you up to breathe and in turn causes sleep disruption. Sleep apnea can place stress on your heart and create other serious health problems.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): This usually occurs at bedtime and creates an uncontrollable urge to move your legs or sometimes arms. Because of these uncomfortable feelings, the need to move disrupts your ability to fall asleep. RLS can be managed and is sometimes due to low iron or other health related factors.
Factors that cause sleeplessness can be one or more of the following:
- Physical (pain)
- Environmentally created– (alcohol or other factors)
- Circadian rhythm upset (night work schedules)
- Medications and aging
- Genetic conditions (like narcolepsy)
Want to learn more about sleep disorders and ways to manage them? Dr. Harneet Walia will present “Better Sleep = Better Life” on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, from 6 to 7 p.m. during “Ladies and Men’s Night Out at The Medical Center.” Following the presentation will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Please RSVP here.